CASLE Newsletter No. 31 March 2007


  1. President’s Pen
  2. Land Registrars
  3. Reports from the Regions
  4. Commonwealth News & Commonwealth Scholarships
  5. Survey Review
  6. Book Review
  7. Bill Barnes Award
  8. Technical Paper
  9. Back to Basics
  10. Casle Lecture Prize
  11. Programme

We are sending all member associations ten copies of the newsletter, which we hope will be distributed to members. We know that in many cases more members would like to have a copy but the cost of producing and sending the extra copies would be more than CASLE can afford at this time. May we suggest that where possible members are asked to photocopy and pass the copies around their association so that as many people as possible can see what is happening with CASLE today.

It would not have been possible to organise many events without the support of the Commonwealth Foundation and we would like to acknowledge with grateful thanks their continued financial assistance.

1. President’s Pen

Brian J Coutts

It is hard to believe that 2006 has slipped quietly into the past and we are rapidly heading towards the 11th General Assembly of CASLE at the end of October in Christchurch, New Zealand. Plans are well under way for this major event, as it will combine the 6th Trans Tasman Conference (the N Z Institute of Surveyors and the Institution of Surveyors Australia), the Spatial Sciences Institute of Australia, the Association of South-East Asian Nations Federation of Land Surveyors and Geomatics (ASEAN FLAG) congress, along with FIG Commission 4 (Hydrography) and Commission 5 (Positioning and Measurement).

The conference is the biggest that New Zealand surveyors have ever hosted, and should provide interest from the broadest range of professionals from every part of the globe. It will bring together local, regional and global surveyors to discuss, explore and consider sustainable solutions to the development needs of the world’s expanding population in the same contexts.

The organising team in Christchurch have been working for a couple of years now to organise the conference adjacent to Victoria Square in the area of downtown Christchurch, New Zealand’s “Garden City”. Designed by Colonel Light, who also designed Adelaide, Christchurch has a population of about 400,000 and sits on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Originally settled by the Church of England, Christchurch has grown to be the key to the unsurpassed southern scenery that includes Mt Cook and Milford Sound. It is one of the two principal international tourist arrival airports and will be blooming into spring at conference time.

CASLE’s Regional Presidents will be looking around for worthy individuals to promote into their positions as they retire at our General Meeting in Christchurch and to involve more new blood in our organisation. It is certainly a rewarding direction in which to put some serious effort, as those of us involved at present have found.

October will be upon us sooner than we probably want. I hope that many of you are making your arrangements to deliver papers in the business sessions and are responding to the call for abstracts that has been recently issued. If you have not seen it, then check out the conference website at and choose the “2007 Conference” link. You will also find information about the variety of accommodation adjoining the conference centre that will suit every budget. I will look forward, along with the other Presidents, to welcoming you all to our conference and our country.

Brian J Coutts

Note from the Secretary General: Brian Waldy writes: If you have not been able to make the deadline for the ‘call for abstracts’ but would like to be considered for the special ‘CASLE sessions’, please send your abstract by 31 May 2007 to: Susan Spedding, Room 2Q20A, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of the West of England, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK or by attachment to email:


Professor Dr Richard Bullard MSc(Eng) PhD, FRICS, FSIZ

We are extremely sad to report the death of Richard Bullard who was a long-term member and great supporter of CASLE.

Richard’s involvement with CASLE started at the joint CASLE/FIG Conference and CASLE General Assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1995 and has been constant ever since.

Richard, who lived at Terling in Essex, was instrumental in the decision to hold the CASLE General Assembly at Danbury Park, Chelmsford, Essex in April 2004 and he was a great help in the organization of the event.

He was always very approachable and helpful and will be greatly missed by all of us.

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2. Land Registrars

Who is the chief Land Registrar in your country?

The need to stimulate pro-poor solutions through land registration systems was especially recognised following the Bagamoyo Conference in March 2006. It was decided that UN-Habitat and CASLE would try and promote discussion of this issue.

It was realised that no Africa wide or global Registrars’ Association existed where this issue could be discussed. It was proposed by UN-Habitat and CASLE to hold a meeting in Africa to discuss these issues first at an African level, to be later scaled up globally if possible. This will be done under the banner of the Global Land Tool Network(

The first task is to compile a register of names and addresses (including e-mail) of chief land registrars in all African countries. On behalf of CASLE Dr Clifford Dann is leading this research, and he would like to hear from members with this information; he is being assisted by the Land Registrars’ Association Europe (ELRA).

Details have been obtained for a number of Commonwealth countries but they need to be verified and there are many gaps. Dr Dann ( would be grateful for information as soon as possible with details of chief land registrars in any of the African countries.

There is no time to be lost as it is proposed that the first meeting to discuss these issues should be at UN-Habitat, UN Gigiri, Nairobi on 26-27 November 2007. There will also be invitations to international stakeholders as speakers and ‘incubators’ who are keen to see these issues addressed also at a global level.

CASLE looks forward to members’ active participation in this important work.

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3. Reports from the Regions

3.1 Africa

3.1.1 Kenya

Cyprian Riungu

Cyprian Riungu, regional president Africa, reports that follow-up action is being taken in the context of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) launched last year by UN-Habitat. The background was set out in detail in the Statement reproduced in our September Newsletter (pages 8 and 9); the goal is to facilitate the attainment of the Millennium Declaration and the MDGs through improved land management and tenure tools for poverty alleviation.

It is proposed that the Institute of Surveyors Kenya (ISK) will be a partner in a demonstration project. As a preparatory step a technical workshop will be held in Nairobi in the near future, with participants including surveyors, engineers, architects, social scientists and lawyers. Further information will be available from the CASLE office (e-mail:

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3.1.2 Zambia

Joint Africa/Europe Regional Conference
Zambezi Sun International, Livingstone, Zambia, 2-5 May 2007

Housing, Health and Social Infrastructure at the centre of the development of Sustainable Human Settlements

In addition to support from the Commonwealth Foundation, the event will be in conjunction with The Copperbelt University and the African Real Estate Society. Participation is also expected from the medical and nursing professions.

Human settlements are the totality of the human community -whether city, town or village -with all the social, material, organizational, spiritual and cultural elements that sustain it. The fabric of human settlements consists of physical elements, i.e. shelter and infrastructure, and services to which these elements provide the material support. People's need for community and their aspirations for more liveable neighbourhoods and settlements should guide the process of design, management and maintenance of human settlements. Human health and quality of life are at the centre of the effort to develop sustainable human settlements. Creating workable human settlements thus becomes an objective of, an indicator of, and a prerequisite for social and economic development.

Enquiries to the CASLE office, Tel: +44(0)117 328 3036 e-mail:

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3.1.3 Uganda

2-day Seminar on ‘Housing and Livelihoods’
Ridar Hotel, Mukona, Uganda, 16-17 November 2007

Preceding the Commonwealth People’s Forum during CHOGM

The object of the seminar will be to identify and address key challenges and action areas, and demonstrate ways in which surveyors and land economists can work with Civil Society Organisations to make a difference to living conditions and economic situations. The seminar will also examine technical education needs and advocate highest professional standards. Expressions of interest should be sent to Charles Kibirango (e-mail: copied to Susan Spedding at the CASLE office (e-mail:

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3.1.4 Africa

Davis Langdon

The following is an extract from the 2005-6 Global Review published by Davis Langdon & Seah International, a company providing services and strategic advice to maximise value for clients investing in property and construction. The contributor is Dr Gerhard Brummer, who holds the Chair of Construction Economics at the University of Pretoria and is a non-Executive Director based at the Pretoria/Tswane office.

Africa is a vast continent of diverse cultures, some in good economic health, some seemingly getting there and some crippled by debt and outmoded political structures. We have major projects in North, East and West Africa but our principal offices are clustered in South Africa and Botswana, on which this overview is concentrated. South Africa has enjoyed ten remarkable years of political and economic renewal, and Botswana - long held up by the World Bank as an example to the rest of Africa of a well run free and fair society – economically outperforms even the powerhouse of South Africa. Both countries have enjoyed booming construction economies in 2005 – although that of Botswana will see a downturn in 2006. In South Africa, however, demand is forecast to exceed supply – in respect of strategic materials, skilled labour, construction plant and machinery and management resources – for the next five years. This “demand alignment” will require Southern African countries to be innovative in the production and procurement of essential construction resources, using, for example, the fairly untested techniques of aggregated purchasing, off-site production, buying forward and procuring people and products from competitive markets abroad. Already the South African government has started a positive campaign to encourage skilled expatriates to return and is considering immigration incentives to recruit foreign nationals to meet the emerging skills shortage.

Botswana has enjoyed some 20 years of sustained economic growth. From the stable socio-political perception of the country, tourism has flourished, attracting high levels of foreign exchange. Also, the very significant royalties, year on year, from the Debswana diamond operations have made a huge and regular contribution to the public purse. The above – factored into a population of just over 1.5 million and spent on the social pillars of healthcare and education, plus essential infrastructure – have created a strong and sustainable economy with growing construction demand. Across the border in South Africa, commodity prices are high, which has boosted the value, if not the volume, of exports. Also, the once ‘twenty something’ interest and inflation levels are now under control and into single digit territory. These positive trends have been sustained despite increasing crude oil prices and rising local fuel costs, giving rise to acceleration in domestic inflation with that of Botswana up to 11% from 7%. Further economic certainty was provided by South Africa’s revised medium-term expenditure framework, announced in October 2005. This reinforced the government’s commitment to responsible fiscal management, with increased expenditure on the bedrock of infrastructure, social responsibility and broad based socio-economic upliftment programmes. As in Botswana, the above have all helped to present a positive perception, which has attracted inward commercial investment and unprecedented levels of tourism.

Confidence has been spurred by the award of the 2010 World Cup soccer competition to South Africa. This has resulted in accelerated programmes for transportation infrastructure, hotel, leisure and sports-related construction. In 2005, the above began to impact on the construction industry, with general employment rising, tender prices increasing and lengthening lead-times emerging for key materials. This trend is set to continue with the forecast of a struggle between supply and demand bringing about price peaks and prolonged delivery times for major projects as South Africa’s finite construction resources are progressively exhausted.

We anticipate that major contractors – primarily from Europe – will form joint ventures for larger projects with established South African construction firms, improving long distance access to resources and finance. Construction consultants and designers will also be inclined to draw solutions and resources from countries abroad, either through extended partnerships, joint ventures or strategic alliances. In the private sector we envisage – given the confidence in property as an investment – greater levels of project finance being made available, with significant lenders forming alliances or merging with major finance providers from abroad, creating a new economic dynamic for the South African construction and property industries.

In the public sector we can see a growing trend to procure major projects – road and rail infrastructure, public buildings, schools, universities, hospitals, etc. – via public: private partnership (PPP) arrangements, whereby private finance is invested in a public facility, with a revenue or other arrangement reached to secure a reasonable return on that investment. Although this would appear to provide a good framework for public sector need, one particular area that must be addressed is that of affordable housing – hundreds of thousands of dwellings being essential to provide a sustainable social platform. This is an area in which the South African government will need to dig deep, as PPP arrangements will rarely, if ever, produce a model whereby financial risk for such housing can be assured. This is a major challenge, but one to which we must all respond, as to ignore it is to pretend there isn’t an elephant in the room! (Avoiding or ignoring major world issues – such as poverty, energy and sustainability – has no positive merit. As Eviator Zerubavel points out in his book “The Elephant in the Room”, ducking or cloaking the big issues is not a sustainable business strategy).

The devastating potential on the whole of Africa of HIV/Aids is yet to be fully realised. Recent research has shown that industries employing high levels of unskilled workers are predominantly at risk – so the impacts on the construction industry can only be anticipated. Here again, this is something for all of us to do something about, but governments must lead – and lead well.

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3.2 Asia Region

3.2.1 India

Causes of disputes, time & cost overrun in construction projects and remedies with particular reference to developing countries

India International Conference Centre, New Delhi, 30-31 October 2006

Organised by The Institution of Surveyors of India in collaboration with The Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy. Professor Dr Alan Spedding, Immediate Past President, CASLE and Mrs Susan Spedding attended the above seminar on behalf of CASLE. There were 131 delegates, mainly from the Institution of Surveyors of India and this included 2 women.

Professor Spedding gave a short talk about CASLE and a brief description of the Commonwealth Housing Trust to encourage someone to come forward with a suitable community-based project in India..

An inaugural Address was given by Dr Ramesh Chandra Panda, Hon Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India

In the second half of the morning three papers were presented on ‘Shortcomings in the presentation of reports’, ‘Prevention of disputes, time and cost overrun’ and ’Preparation of effective programmes for the execution of Indian International Conference Centre’.

In the afternoon session Professor Spedding gave a presentation on ‘Documentation for maintenance management’, followed by papers on ‘Construction cost control’ by Shri K S Kharb, ‘Managing risks at project sites’ by Lt Col K K Chitkara, ‘Risk management on construction projects’ by Mr N C Marwah and ‘Sharing risks under FIDIC by employer & contractor with special reference to terrorism’, by Shri N K Bahri.

In the second session of the afternoon Shri S K Dholakia, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court gave a presentation on ‘Law of arbitration’ and this was followed by a description of ‘Important court rulings on the Arbitration Law and Contract Act’ by Shri Arvind Minocha, Advocate of the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday 31 October there were several papers on Claims and Counter Claims and the effect of non-compliance under FIDIC conditions. Mr Martin Clements gave a presentation on the origins of claims and counter claims with examples from his own experience. Professor Spedding read a paper on behalf of John Papworth, entitled ‘Commentary on FIDIC 1999 relating to claims provisions’ and added a commentary based on his own experiences in practice. The afternoon was devoted to a Question and Answer session which was very lively and this was followed by a seminar overview and recommendations by Shri K S Kharb.

Professor and Mrs Spedding met many of the delegates who were very interested to hear more about CASLE but were also keen to find out how they could become ‘Chartered’ There is some discussion needed before the academic rigour of the Indian qualification can be shown to meet the required standards of the RICS, although discussions are due to take place in the near future between the Institution of Surveyors of India and the RICS.

After the seminar, Professor and Mrs Spedding were invited by Martin Clements, Managing Quantity Surveyor, Laing O’Rourke Technical Services (1) Pvt Ltd to visit the new town of Gurgaon which is about 15 miles outside Delhi. This is a huge development of offices, hotels, luxury flats and a golf course, evidence of the international investment which is taking place in India since the relaxation in currency restrictions. They also met Mr Dhiraj Singh, Country Head of the organization in order to discuss the inclusion of affordable housing in some of the planned developments. Professor and Mrs Spedding briefed Mr Singh on the Commonwealth Housing Trust and he expressed a wish to investigate the possibility of future collaboration on this matter.

Shi K S Kharb and the members of the Institution of Surveyors of India were very appreciative of the visit by Professor and Mrs Spedding and of the good wishes from the CASLE Management Board.

16 surveyors requested details on how to become RICS Chartered Surveyors.

Contact details for The Institution of Surveyors of India:-
Brigadier P N Koul
Hon Secretary
The Institution of Surveyors of India
15/17 Institutional Area
New Mehrauli Road
New Delhi 110016
Tel: 00 91 26863069

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3.2.2 Malaysia

The Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia (ISM)

For the seventh consecutive year The Institution of Surveyors is organising the Young Achievers’ Award Competition for upper secondary school students. The object is to broaden their knowledge and understanding in the science of measurement, encourage economic reasoning and create awareness of the surveying professions – land surveying, building surveying, valuation and property consultancy and quantity surveying. Prizes are awarded on a national level (RM5000, 3000, 2000) and each region – Central, Northern, Johor, East Coast, Sabah and Sarawak – (RM 1500, 1000, 500).

The trustees of the Aubrey Barker Fund, the education charity set up in 1972 by members of CASLE in memory of the distinguished Guyanian surveyor who died just before taking office as President, have agreed again to be one of the sponsors of this all-important activity

CASLE associations in other countries may wish to pursue similar schemes, and further information is available through the CASLE office (email:

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3.2.3 Sri Lanka

Conference in Sri Lanka - Friday 22 June 2007

Calling all Land Surveyors, Valuers and Quantity Surveyors


Venue: Sri Lanka Foundation Institute – Auditorium, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Expressions of interest should be addressed to the CASLE Admin Secretary, Susan Spedding (e-mail who will provide details regarding registration, hotels and the programme as soon as available.

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3.3 Atlantic Region

President Anstey Scot

President Anstey Scott has proposed a Regional Conference on Climate Change and Disaster Management: multi-hazard vulnerability analyses, maps and plans; regulations, codes and legislation. It is hoped that this will take place in April 2008 at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad.

This will be an opportunity to consider closely the formulation of adaptive strategies for Climate Change and Disaster Management. These aspects were identified at the conference held in the Seychelles in October 2006 ‘Preparing for Change’ and action was called for from professional networks on specific points. CASLE was represented at the conference ‘Preparing for Change’, and was named as one of the potential lead organisations.

CASLE is particularly able to respond because its member in Trinidad, Dr Jacob Opadeyi, University of the West Indies (UWI), has been involved in the monitoring of sea levels throughout the Caribbean islands; his report on the ‘Status of hazard maps vulnerability assessments and digital maps’ (December 2003) provides a starting point. UWI has also worked on disaster risk management, and land administration for the region, and will put forward proposals. The issues will also be addressed through UWI’s Faculty of Engineering whose mission is to be the provider of a world quality education in Engineering, Geoinformatics and Geosciences and research and the pursuit of development programmes.

It is anticipated that the seminar will concentrate on identifying, developing and promoting multi-hazard vulnerability analyses, maps and plans, and developing and disseminating information on a regime of control and adaptation needed in the light of climate change and disaster management. The relevance of such analyses to spatial plans at all levels will be a key topic, and members of kindred professions will be invited to take part. Consideration will also be given to formulating advice on forms of regulation, codes and legislation designed to reduce vulnerability to sea-level rise, storm surges, hurricanes and other impacts of climate change; this will involve also building codes and standards, water management and generally disaster risk management.

In addition to Dr Opadeyi, speakers will be drawn from other vulnerable areas in the Commonwealth. Further details will be posted on this CASLE website in due course.

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3.4 Europe Region

On behalf of the regional committee for Europe, Clifford Dann is pleased to report that two events are in the planning stages for 2008.

It is proposed that in February there will be a conference in Cyprus relating particularly to leisure development and associated opportunities for economic growth and employment. Specific proposals for golf resorts and marinas will be included, as will village revitalisation, water conservation and environmental impact. Tourism is more often than not a major element of any country’s economy. Surveyors and land economists have a major part to play in facilitating exchange of knowledge and best practices.

An initial planning meeting has taken place for a conference in Northern Ireland in August/September 2008. The School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Belfast, will be a major player as co-host. The overall theme has yet to be decided but subjects will include regeneration, public/private partnership, procurement systems, combined services of ordnance survey/land registration/municipal revenues/spatial planning, and education.

Delegates will be able to visit the Titanic Quarter, a premier 185-acre waterfront development located in the commercial and residential heart of the city. The investment is projected at £1 billion, providing a truly mixed-use development that will build on the historic and tourist potential of the location by employing the highest standards in both design and architecture. The emphasis is on sustainability and heritage. Details of both conferences will be posted on this CASLE website.

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3.5 Pacific Region

See advert for the conference on ‘Developing Sustainable Societies,’a collaborative event with:

Date: 29 October – 02 November 2007
Venue: Christchurch Convention Centre, New Zealand

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4. Commonwealth News & Commonwealth Scholarships

The Commonwealth: Respecting Difference, Promoting Understanding

2007 Commonwealth Day Message from Dr Mark Collins, the Director of the Commonwealth Foundation

“Over many years, the Commonwealth has remained relevant in changing times by responding to those who belong to it today. This has been guided by the shared commitment to the most precious of human values, which include an appreciation of our many differences, and respect for each other. This achievement is all the more remarkable given the sometimes troubled history that bound our predecessors together long ago, including slavery and colonialism.

Our governments listen more closely and act more supportively towards each other. Our civil society organisations grow and prosper because they actively seek opportunities to work together, recognising that they are on strong common ground. As individuals, we participate voluntarily out of interest, enthusiasm or a sense of responsibility rather than compulsion.

Today’s modern Commonwealth emerged after the Second World War and has grown in numbers and relevance since then. We have continued to welcome and accommodate peoples in all their rich diversity.

But some of our communities are once again being tested by conflict. These days, the sources of division and aggression tend to come more from within. They may be between faiths, political groups, or between rich and poor. There are other fault lines too. Their common denominator is that people are willing to take extreme action, because they feel powerless, ignored, humiliated or abandoned.

Everyone who is committed to the Commonwealth has a responsibility to reflect and ask themselves searching questions. What sort of communities do we want the young people of today and tomorrow to live in? What are the new paths and new solutions that will draw people together positively?

Faith is a great source of inspiration and of solutions. Whether one is Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, or a follower of another faith, they all say powerfully and persuasively in their writings that human life is valuable and should be protected, that neighbours and friends should be cherished.

In the Commonwealth, we share a language. Yet, underneath that, we all have a number of identities that define who we are and where we feel we belong – to families, to communities, to cultural and indigenous groupings, to nations. Whatever those many layers of identity, we are all human beings above all else, and we are all Commonwealth citizens.

In 2007, in what we think and say and do, let us remember those common foundations and seek practical ways to reinforce them. One of the surest will be to show others around us today more respect and understanding than yesterday, and more again tomorrow”

For further information please contact:
Marcie Shaoul, Communications Officer
+44 207 747 6582

Commonwealth Scholarships

The Commonwealth Scholarships Commission in 2007 will be providing funds for UK organisations to host visits from mid-career professionals from developing Commonwealth countries whose work is critical to the development of their own country.

Commonwealth Professional Fellowships support programmes of professional development designed to have a catalytic effect in developing skills that will subsequently be applied in a developing Commonwealth country. Funding will be provided for programmes of typically three months duration, although requests for funding for shorter or longer programmes of up to six months will be considered where exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated. Priority will be given to programmes training professionals in the broadly defined fields of education, engineering, environment, governance, public health and technology.

Applications are invited from public, private or voluntary sector organisations in the United Kingdom seeking to host such visits. Applicants should be capable of devising a coherent and relevant programme and identifying suitable recipients through existing organisational networks. Fellowships cover the full cost of travel to the UK, living expenses, some UK travel and other approved short course and conference expenses and a contribution to host organisation costs.

2007 International Short Story Competition Open for Entry

The Commonwealth Foundation and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association are now calling for entries for the 2007 Commonwealth Short Story Competition.

This highly acclaimed international competition has been an essential platform for now renowned writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who went on to win the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for ‘Purple Hibiscus’. The competition gives winners the chance to have their story broadcast around the world on the radio and offers a first prize of £2,000, as well as other cash prizes.

Erin Soros of Canada, overall winner of the 2006 Commonwealth Short Story Competition, said that the prize meant a great deal to her because she was able to heighten awareness of an aspect of life in British Columbia that is rarely discussed: "Winning the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for 'The Moon, the Cat and the Donkey' means a great deal to me. While the story is fictional, the described circumstances arise from the history of logging in British Columbia, with its inherently dramatic setting and risks. Logging remains the most dangerous occupation in Canada. The danger of this work, and the resulting injury and death, is not necessarily witnessed in the discourse of Canadian nationalism, so I am honoured that this story will be broadcast internationally and hope it may inspire listeners to consider the often complex and hidden histories of our Commonwealth. Hearing the broadcast will be like hearing a character walk off the page."

Amateur and professional writers alike are invited to submit their short story for consideration. The stories must be around 600 words in length, and may be on any theme or subject. Applicants must be citizens of one of the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth. Entries will be accepted until 1 May 2007. The winning stories – around 25, including an overall winner, regional winners and highly commended entries – will be professionally recorded and broadcast on radio stations around the Commonwealth.

For more information, visit

or contact:

Andrew Firmin
Programme Manager, Culture and Diversity
The Commonwealth Foundation
Marlborough House
Pall Mall
United Kingdom

Tel + 44 (0) 20 7747 6576
Fax +44 (0) 20 78398157

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5. Survey Review

The Survey Review: 1931 to 2006 - Seventy Five Years of Service to Land Surveying.

A.L.Allan and J.R.Smith

The year 2006 heralded a major change in the destiny of one of the World’s primary scientific surveying journals, the Survey Review (formerly the Empire Survey Review), because its management structure underwent a sea-change: from Association sponsorship to the formation of a Limited Company, and the subcontracting of its production and marketing to a commercial company.

The Nature of a Primary Scientific Journal

It is important to say what constitutes a primary scientific journal. It is one which publishes original peer reviewed professional reports and research findings for the very first time. Today such journals are listed under the Scientific Index.

For whom is such a journal intended?

Firstly, it provides authors and researchers with a vehicle which to establish their claim to originality. In the case of academic contributors, this can be a vital stage in the validation of research work for assessment by degree awarding bodies, or promotion boards at academic institutions. To the professional practitioner, it is a means of communicating valuable new practices which have been tested and validated, give details of new sources of information such as textbooks and conferences, as well as obituaries of eminent people. Such a journal is not an ephemeral news sheet, but the custodian of the records of professional expertise. As such it is retained, bound and indexed for posterity.

Who reads such a journal?

At a meeting of the Royal Society of London called some years ago to ascertain the state of Scientific Journals across the whole professional spectrum, it was a revelation to hear that only about twelve persons actually read an article through and through on first publication, but many more do so as time elapses as their need arises for the information contained. Further it was stated that about 50 persons read all the abstracts and the total readership, mostly numbered in the hundreds, scans the title page to select a subject of interest, and notes the remainder for future reference.

Who meets the costs of such a journal?

Generally speaking, most scientific journals are the publishing organ of a related society whose membership fees pay for their production. Thus the funding can be tailor-made to suit the members and its production maintained at a commercially viable level.

The Survey Review has no such supporting society. With the result it has had to pay its way by the subscription of readers and the support of advertisers only. Management costs were initially kept to a minimum through hidden government subsidies, and latterly by the voluntary support of enthusiasts. Even the editors have been voluntary or currently receive only token honoraria.

How is the journal produced?

For most of its existence an editor marked up submitted copy which was type set in hot metal by a commercial printer. Galley proofs were provided to authors for correction, a make up of pages was undertaken by the editor with some difficulty, before final printing binding and despatching to personal and corporate readers. A system of charging was in place, as well as the acquisition of advertising material. Today’s production line is quite different.

Compared with its early life when papers were generally only received from Empire countries, today they come from all corners of the world including such additional countries Russia, Iran, Turkey, Taiwan, Thailand and China. With such sources where English is not a first language there are obvious problems. The present Editor has followed the line taken by his predecessor of ensuring that the text makes understandable sense although not necessarily completely in the Queen’s English so the flavour of local turns of phrase can be found.

When a paper is received it is first sent to two independent referees for comment. If they report favourably any necessary corrections or modifications are made by the authors. The paper is then received as a Word document complete with any illustrations. This is manipulated by the Editor to best fit the page size and space available. Overall the processing of a paper can involve considerable correspondence flowing back and forth with the author.

The content for each issue is selected from all the material available at the time subject to a reasonable spread of topics. The selected papers are then turned into pdf files acceptable to the printer and that is the last that is seen of the contents before it appears in printed form.

Who were the people involved?

In 1931 W.C. Bottomley, the chairman of the Colonial Survey Committee, wrote "Between, and side by side with, such conferences, the Review will form a continuous record of achievement and of problems solved, or (why not?) unsolved, through which surveyors working all over the world may contribute to or draw from a common pool of experience and practice". The "conferences" mentioned were the Conferences of Empire Survey Officers, at the first of which in 1928 the ESR. was originated, and for the second of which the very first number appeared under the editorship of Captain G.T.McCaw.

The Editors

What are the qualities required of an editor of a primary journal? Clearly some experience of the profession is necessary: and the enthusiasm to do this arduous task without payment other than a token honorarium and expenses. A fully professional editor and back up staff were not possible within the financial constraints of the past nor are they with the current setup. A little background information about these men should be of interest.

G.T.McCaw (1931-42) had vast experience including land valuation in Ireland, triangulation in East Africa on the 30th Arc, terrestrial photogrammetry in Fiji and work with the War Office General Staff where he developed the "Macca" base measuring equipment. He also contributed more than 50 technical articles to the ESR itself.

J.Clendinning (1942-66) had vast experience with railway surveys in Northern Ireland, Canada, and Ghana; writing there a series of well used technical reports. He was perhaps more widely known for his revision of Clark's textbooks, for his own publications and contributions to the Review.

J.E.Jackson (1966-72) spent over 20 years working in Ceylon on topographical and geodetic triangulations and their 'adjustment'. His second career as an academic at Cambridge University was marked by his great empathy with students and his work on gravity measurements in several parts of the world. He had a particular interest in map projections.

A.L.Allan (1972-81) worked for the Directorate of Colonial Surveys in the Bechuanaland Protectorate, several West Indian Islands and took part in one of the first ever uses of the microwave Tellurometer on a 500 mile tower traverse in Kenya. Later he took up teaching posts and collaborated in the publication of a respected textbook, and researched into instrument applications mainly in Industrial Surveying. He also published from time to time in the Review. T.O.Crompton, with much experience in professional engineering surveying and computations was a valuable assistant to Allan.

W.M.Barnes (1981-2000) served for seven years as a staff and district surveyor in Kenya in a variety of tasks including cadastral, topographic and geodetic surveys. He was also involved in Land Consolidation programmes, Land Adjudication, and Land Planning. He followed academic careers in Nairobi, England and Trinidad, where he was the first Professor of Land Surveying.

J.R.Smith (2000- ) the current editor, worked on opencast mining and architectural surveys in England before going to Nigeria to join the Lands and Housing Department. After some years with the Ministry of Defence in England he began a teaching post at Portsmouth Polytechnic which lasted for over 20 years. He is well known as a writer of historical works on surveying subjects as well as working on various professional and technical committees both national and international. He is currently assisted by Deputy Editor M Phillips.

Editorial duties

What were and to some extent still are the duties of the editor? Although these have changed in detail over the years, the essential elements are still the same. Assuming that the purpose of the journal is clear, initially the editor had the first task of soliciting articles for publication, and having received them, to see if the content satisfied the objectives of the journal. He also had to ensure, as best he could, that the content was original and if so, to assist the author to present the material in a form that was satisfactory to the reader and within the protocol of the house style adopted by and enforced by the editor! The text would then be prepared for the printer in an acceptable form, who in turn prepared drafts to be sent by the editor to the author for correction and return to the editor, who resubmitted the copy to the printer who carried out his production task efficiently and at reasonable cost. The interesting and demanding stage was to compile the material into units of four pages for publication with an approved total pagination. If there are advertisements within the text, this caused difficulties.

There followed the task to ensure that the journal was distributed in time to the readers. All this has to be carried out to a predicted time-table and within budget. This means that some mechanism for payment has to operate effectively. But the task does not end there. With a primary scientific journal, such as the Survey Review, the editor had to prepare an accumulated index for future reference. (This is now on the Web site). Through all these stages, the editor, then and now, takes a keen and possessive interest in his creation, like a midwife guiding a mother through pregnancy to the delivery of her child.

From 1931 to 1981, the original material would at best be pounded out on a typewriter to be set in hot metal by the printer. This had the advantage that a strict house style could be adhered to. The text was then printed in long strips (galley proofs) to be corrected and compiled by the editor. Today the text, although produced on a word processor, has still to be recast into a house style, before printing from electronic formats.

Originally the editor would use his own judgement to supply the quality control on the content, and his literary competence to affect the final style. As time went by, and as the survey technology became more and more complex, the technical assessment was farmed out to experts known to the editor.

McCaw set the tone of the ESR right from its outset. He contributed over 50 articles under the initials GTM and managed to keep it running during the 1939 - 44 World War.

Clendinning opposed the idea that the publication of the Review would be taken over by the RICS: eventually it was taken over by the Directorate of Overseas Surveys, under the careful management of John Wright. When CASLE took over, the Review was managed by John Hollwey until his death in 1989, followed for a brief period by Simon Keith, then Clifford Dann, and now Michael Cooper.

Allan ended the practice of running on articles to make maximum use of the paper and introduced the journal title on the spine of each issue. He attempted to write an editorial but soon ran out of inspiration.

In 1996 Barnes began the practice of using cover illustrations which were partly intended to encourage survey training schools to publicise the work of students and researchers, but without much success in this. Barnes died of cancer while still in post in the spring of 2000. In his memory, a prize was established at the University of the West Indies where he had been the first professor of Land Surveying.

Smith greatly enhanced the managerial efficiency of the whole editorial process by the establishment of a systematic vetting system of two independent peer reviews for each paper, currently by over 50 different people each expert in various fields. These make a value judgement on a scale of four. Usually some advice for improvement is given.

Although in the past the first concern of the editor was to obtain enough copy to fill one issue which was made up in units of four pages, the working unit is now 16 because of the method of printing. Current issues have 96 pages. In earlier times it was clear that there was never a steady flow of material and the editor G.T. McCaw had to resort to writing articles himself. With the advent of academic courses in surveying and the opportunity (nay necessity) for staff to undertake research and publish results, articles began to flow in from all parts of the world where English is not the first language of the authors. The need for quality assessment became more pressing. The informal procedure of peer assessment which editors up to the 1990s had adopted had to be formalised. This system has enabled the Survey Review to appear in the Index of the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI), an achievement guided into being by committee member Iain Greenway.

The problem today is that so few primary journals now exist in our field, most others having succumbed to a "popularising" process with attractive formats and somewhat ephemeral content. The net effect is that there is now a backlog of nearly two years material waiting for publication. To ease the problem, an electronic version has been considered with no fixed publication date. However it is difficult to see how such an arrangement could be made to pay for itself unless a charge was levied on the authors, as is the case in some professions.

With a surfeit of good material the editor has to make the final selection for each issue. Criteria include length of paper (the shorter the better), academic or professional content, the uniqueness of the topic (some topics are over subscribed), the geographical origin of the author (a world wide audience is sought), encouragement for new authors, clarity of expression, quality of diagrams and the closeness the text conforms to the house rules for presentation. This last is particularly important today because camera ready copy has to be presented to the printer in digital form.

It is even more true now than in 1981 to say that "the average surveyor of today is probably better informed than his (or her) predecessor; has many more complex matters to study, and has a life style in which digressions are legion" Access to the word processor has brought about the passing of an age of succinct expression with the result that most papers are much longer than they need be - a part cause of the huge backlog in today's production sequence. At least a surfeit is to be preferred to a dearth of material!

It was an outstanding achievement that the 300th issue appeared in 2006, its 75th consecutive year, when one considers that a major World War intervened, the British Empire has disappeared, as has the Directorate of Overseas Surveys which sponsored the journal for a time, and a complete technological revolution has taken place both in survey practice and the provision of information on paper and electronic media.

Printing - In all its 75 years there were only three different printers, - Neill & Co. from 1931 to 1946; C.F.Hodgson 1946 to 1985 and Cambridge University Press 1985 to 2006. As from the beginning of 2007 this will now be done by Maney.

Reviewers are drawn from all over the world and are experts in the field. This very fact has its own problem in that it means they are very busy people even before they commit to a refereeing role.

A comprehensive cumulative index of all material from 1931 to 2000 is on the web site and the indexes for subsequent issues are on the web separately and also as abstracts.

Managers. When Survey Review came under the wing of DOS it was initially managed by John.Wright. He was followed by John Hollwey, Simon Keith, Clifford Dann and now Michael Cooper. From 1992 a specific Editorial Board was formed and by 1993 this included several overseas corresponding members. Today there is both a Management Board and an Editorial Advisory Board.

The future

Immediately prior to October 2006, the Survey Review, was sponsored by the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy, and although it is struggling to meet the colossal demand for publication space by cosmopolitan authors, it seems to be held in high regard throughout the world. Now matters have changed. CASLE is to be congratulated for the bold positive way it has helped to establish the new system which it is hoped will enable the journal to continue in existence well into the future. There is also no doubt that the current management board has explored the best way ahead and at the same time managed to retain sufficient funds to revert back to older proven methods of production and despatch if things do not work out to their satisfaction and the needs of the profession world wide.

With the issue for January 2007 production will be by Maney who already publish the sister journal The Cartographic Journal and in addition to the regular paper version there will also be an e-version available. The ownership of Survey Review has become Survey Review Ltd and the various personnel involved remain the same.


Allan, A.L. Editorial. Survey Review, 26 (200) (50 - 63)
Allan, A.L 1981 The Editors. Survey Review, 26 (200) (106 - 108)

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6. Book Review

Practical Least Squares and Statistics For Surveyors.

Bruce R Harvey
Third Edition March 2006
Monograph 13
School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems
University of New South Wales
I.S.B.N 0 7334 2339 6.

Since your reviewer is not familiar with the previous two editions of this monograph nothing can be said about alterations to these texts, save that in the author’s own words “After 20 years of teaching at UNSW and about ten years since the last edition, it is now time for a new edition”.

This new edition is supported by a web site which inter alia includes updates and corrections to the book. Concerning this aspect, the author makes the wise comment “ It will be interesting to see if the web site lasts as long as the book”. At the time of writing this review, the site was updated in October 2006.

The book is intended for students at the University of New South Wales, who have already passed foundation subjects including matrix algebra, statistics, computer programming and survey measurement techniques. Therefore derivations of theory or equations are rarely included, and practical aspects are emphasised rather than theoretical correctness.

It is not however a “cook book”, because the author explains each process and expects the students to work the examples and think about the results at all stages. There is no question that this is a very useful text containing a wide range of examples, worked as fully as space allows, which explain theory and are useful for software testing.

Your reviewer faced with the same problem, of teaching about Least Squares estimation in another university, echoes fully the following sentiment “Students are not a homogeneous group and different people learn in different ways. Some have asked me to keep the notes as short as possible, to be concise. Others have asked for worked examples with full details. I have tried to please both groups”. The dilemma is whether to teach the subject bottom up or top down. The analytical minds prefer the latter, ordinary mortals the former. Only the students can say if author has succeeded. But it must be said that the text is also useful for the professional surveyor in that most practical problems are dealt with, such as three dimensional coordinate transformation, combined terrestrial and GPS networks and sound advice given on the practical issues of inputting data and analysingoutput from software in general.

Although your reviewer would not agree totally with the order in which various topics are introduced, especially the subject of weights, he found himself agreeing time and again with the useful advice given especially when dealing with such practical issues as the need for calibration and reduction of systematic effects, and the merit of computing and displaying the C-O vector as a useful visual filtering procedure. Although Harley’s traditional treatment of three dimensional intersection is probably adequate for normal surveying, it is not so in precise industrial work, where a proper three dimensional treatment is essential. Also the author might well have paid more attention to the failure cases which are useful in testing to see if the software is robust. A good example of this is in resection from three collinear control points, which wrongly fails if computed by the Barycentric formula. Having read the whole book in some detail we wonder whether perhaps it is a little too detailed, and would benefit from some careful surgery. The final pages full of wisdom ought in our opinion to be repeated right at the start to set the scene for the student.

Your reviewer’s only serious complaint about the text, which some might consider pedantic, concerns terminology not the subject matter, which is excellent. We were under the impression that surveyors have learned to bury such misleading terms as “adjustment” (which to a client sounds like fiddling the results) and use more constructive terminology such as “Quality estimation”. We don’t “correct “anything but use the observations to give best estimates of parameters: endlessly talking about errors conveys the impression to the client that we are no good at our job!

That said, let us repeat that we have here an excellent very valuable text for which the author is to be roundly congratulated.

A L Allan
Practical Least Squares and Statistics For Surveyors.

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7. Bill Barnes Award

Last year marked the last in which the Bill Barnes Memorial Prize will be awarded to a student from Trinidad. Following the death [1] in post of the former editor of this Journal, W.M. (Bill) Barnes, it was the desire of his friends to mark his contribution to surveying in the UK, Kenya and Trinidad, by the establishment of a Memorial Fund [2] to service the award of a prize to a final year student of Land Surveying at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad, who “shows significant ability in professional studies and also in some form of sporting activity”. Bill, who was the first professor and Head of Department, carried out the task of nurturing his new child with great industry and diplomacy, and no little competence.

The originators of the Memorial Fund had in mind an award to a student based on academic merit coupled with some prowess in sport. (Bill was a first class golfer). A limit of five years was placed on the duration of the award, which came to an end last year. The Department has regularly and efficiently supported this prize, ensuring that an appropriate award has been made and that the recipients have expressed their thanks to Bill’s widow, Marjorie, on receipt of the prize tothe amount of c£125. For the record, the various prize winners have been:

2002. Ricky Ramkisoon
2003. Matthew Moses
2004. Rawlon Dereck
2005. Christian Persad
2006. Rondell Cardinez

Now that this short period of history is drawing to a close, it is desirable to remember not only Bill Barnes but also the late Carl Williams who was the Survey Review representative instrumental in establishing the link in Trinidad, Jacob Opadeyi who took over the reins from Carl Williams and Susan Spedding who, with her usual efficiency, looked after the Survey Review end of the process..

[1] Survey Review, No. 277, July 2000. pp. 439-440.
[2] Survey Review, No. 282, October 2001. p. 303.

Recipient 2006 –Rondell Cardinez

From as early as primary school, Rondell Cardinez has managed to balance both studies and sports, remaining at the top of his classes while enjoying victories in his school cricket side, participating in class football, and being a member of school cub scouts, leading to successive awards for ‘Most All-Round Pupil’.

Rondell continued to excel and earned entry to his first choice secondary school, St. Mary’s College. While there he successfully continued to mix academic and sporting activities, receiving full passes at O’ Level and A’ level while being active in football and hiking activities as well as a member of his school prefect body.

Entering the University of the West Indies (U.W.I). in 2003, and reading for a BSc. in Surveying & Land Information – a science and art at the time he hardly knew – he quickly grew to love it which he attributed to the nurturing and friendly environment at the Department of Surveying and Land Information (D.S.L.I). At the U.W.I., he managed to keep abreast of his studies maintaining a 3.2 GPA at the end of his first two years of study, while also a player in his UWI football team and taking full advantage of the many other benefits UWI had to offer. Despite undergoing surgery to his leg after sustaining injuries while playing football during his final year, thus missing almost 2 months of classes, he still managed to excel and graduate with First Class Honours with the assistance and encouragement of family, as well as friends and staff of the Surveying Department.

Rondell has received various awards in the West Indies, is active in football and cycling and is a student member of the R.I.C.S. He is currently employed as a graduate surveyor with Shemsu Surveying Limited undertaking both cadastral and engineering surveying.

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8. Technical Paper

‘This land was made for you and me’
The global challenge of land management

Inaugural lecture by Robert Home, Professor of Land Management, Anglia Ruskin University, 21 February 2007

Land management is becoming a hot topic as the planet heats up, and we start to wonder we can survive the Malthusian pressures of population upon land and environment. A few simple facts highlight the issues. The world’s population has more than doubled in my lifetime, and there are more people alive now than have ever lived on Earth. Within the last few years we have reached a so-called ‘tipping point’, where urban population world-wide now exceeds rural for the first time in human history. Up to a billion poor people live in urban slums and under risk of eviction. Land comprises less than a third of the surface of the Earth, and much of that third is effectively unusable by humans (deserts, mountains, too hot, too cold). It is rather difficult to live permanently on water (as Kevin Costner found when he was filming Waterworld), so how we manage our limited land resource really matters, in both rural and urban areas (my concern being more with urban).

At its most basic, people kill to possess land, as we know from the crises in Kosovo, Gaza and the West Bank, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, and from the willingness of courts in the United States to tolerate murder in defence of one’s property (a view which has its supporters in Britain, seen in the public sympathy for the farmer Tony Martin, who killed an intruder in his East Anglian rural home). So my topic (or realm of discourse, as academics say) is an ambitious one. Not as ambitious, however, as Kevin Cahill, who, after writing a book on Who Owns Britain, moved on to Who Owns the World (selling well, I gather), his basic message being that, when we find out who it is, they should be made to share it out rather more.

Land is of course an essential attribute of the nation state (sovereignty over territory and people), and the state operates a whole array of rather expensive bureaucratic and technical systems to manage social relationships over land. One can easily identify the main ones: mapping and surveying, registering title, land use and environmental planning, valuation, compulsory purchase and taxation processes, managing the public estate, arrangements for dispute resolution (such as planning appeals), and legislative review mechanisms (the Law Commission found preparing the Land Registration Act 2002 the most complex consultation it had ever done). Such systems of land management have in turn created an array of professions (and I’ve been, and trained, several of them): surveyors, valuers, planners, estate managers, ecologists, and of course lawyers. When the former Communist countries of central and eastern Europe applied to join the European Union, an inter-governmental standing group specially on land administration was set up, to ensure that private property rights were guaranteed through state land registries, that free and open land markets were created, and that the ‘Copenhagen Criteria’ for EU accession were being met in those areas.

Landed property is now being promoted as no less than the solution to world poverty, if you accept the argument of the Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto. His books, The Other Path and The Mystery of Capital, are in favour with the World Bank and donor agencies. For de Soto, the registration of private land rights will raise what he calls ‘dead capital’ (that is, the unrecognised and unregistered property assets of the poor) out of the ‘grubby basement of capitalism’, so that it can be used as collateral for their endeavours. World Bank and governmental programmes have led to millions of new land title deeds being registered in countries as far apart as Mexico, Indonesia and Kenya (and are now being initiated in Bolivia by the leftist administration of Evo Morales). The development agencies have rather suddenly become interested in finding out ‘the voice of the poor’, in order to better understand the role of land in society.

The United Nations has become involved through Habitat’s Campaign for Secure Tenure and its Global Land Tools Network. As the Habitat Agenda states, ‘access to land and security of tenure are strategic prerequisites for the provision of adequate shelter for all and the development of sustainable human settlements’. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals aim to reduce world poverty, and Goal 7 (Target 11) aims to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the Year 2020. The Global Land Tool Network, launched at the World Urban Forum last year, is promoting solutions to tenure insecurity, one of those development-speak terms which, along with livelihood insecurity and food insecurity, in plainer language mean homeless, poor and hungry.

Land titling is seen as the key, creating a ‘stable pattern of landholdings defined by durable fencing’ (to quote Rowton Simpson’s textbook on land registration), which the state guarantees through the ‘continuous finality of the register.’ Land surveyors were the profession most associated with this process, and British surveyors had a whole empire to survey. Russia, with a similarly vast land empire, also developed a strong tradition of surveying and mapping, which continued to serve Russia’s space programme.

The land surveyors, in the days before satellite positioning systems and GIS, were the explorers who mapped and cut up the land into sections. Australians joked about their great explorers that they were usually land surveyors who were lost. Australia also originated the Torrens land registry system, mentioned only in passing by de Soto, but the ‘jewel in the crown’ of land management for both the Old and the New Commonwealth. Torrens was actually rather a rascal, a corrupt Anglo-Irish land-grabber and office-holder in the new colony of South Australia, who saw the potential of a state-guaranteed land registry for his personal get-rich-quick strategy. After he steered his Bill through the South Australia legislature in 1858, the benefits of Torrens-style registration were spread across the Empire by a global network of British surveyors and land managers.

State registration of land rights, however, encounters all kinds of obstacles, from vested professional interests, political ideologies of both right and left, and deep-rooted communal and cultural attitudes. I would now like to explore some keywords, against the long historical background of English land law, and what is sometimes called ‘the colonial encounter’, so the geographical coverage is pretty wide. The first keyword is keyword. For Raymond Williams keywords are defining elements in a concept or theory. They may have particular significance for a group of people, sometimes with shifting and alternative meanings, and are deployed for different, sometimes hidden, objectives by different interests.

Now consider the idea of ‘absolute and exclusive possession’. For the 18th century English jurist Blackstone:

“There is nothing which so generally strikes the imagination, and engages the affections of mankind, as the right of property; or that sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe”.

Blackstone’s often-quoted macho sentence expressed what was always a rather fanciful myth, as if the ‘bundle of rights’ and social obligations wrapped up in the concept of landed property could be somehow set aside. The right to property is now protected in various constitutions and human rights conventions, but it raises all sorts of questions of equity.

One consequence of the enclosures movement, was to exclude the holders of common property rights, formerly enjoying some measure of independence and self-sufficiency, to become wage labourers or dependent upon parish relief. The enclosers or ‘engrossers’ of land expanded their boundaries (believing, conveniently, that land title should conform to the ‘lived boundaries’), and thereby created a landless peasantry, emptying the countryside and forcing the pace of urbanisation. 19th century changes to the law of adverse possession, intended to simplify conveyancing and reduce the statutory period for pursuing ‘stale claims’, acted in favour of the encloser of land, and against customary rights.

Unpacking another keyword, ‘settlement’, exposes at least four distinct meanings relating to land. To most people, settlement means a community: planners talk of settlement boundaries. Secondly, ‘strict settlement’ law allowed a land-owner to keep land within the family, allowing each generation an interest in the property for life, but not to trade it. Thirdly, in India ‘settlement’ is about tax, and refers to the systematic official recording of rights in land for taxation purposes. In India (and later in the Middle East), the Settlement Officer (usually a British colonial official) went from village to village, registering the cultivators’ title on a cadastral map, and thereby their liability to land tax. A fourth distinct meaning of settlement was at the heart of the poor law in England and Wales from 1601 until its abolition in 1948. The destitute were entitled to poor relief and a ticket to the workhouse, but only in the parish where they possessed a legal settlement, having been born or lived there for a period of six months or more; otherwise they might be forcibly moved to another parish, or in extreme cases deported to the colonies.

Another keyword: ‘encroachment’. The verb ‘encroach’ is wonderfully defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘to trench or intrude usurpingly (especially by insidious or gradual advances) on the territory or rights of another’. The word derives from Old French (meaning to hook or fasten upon, related to the word ‘crochet’), which would seem to link it to the period of the Norman Conquest. It was associated from an early date with the fencing-in of land for improvement, and indeed the early use of the word ‘improvement’ (originally meaning to turn to profit) was specifically related to the fencing and enclosure of land.

That leads us to our last keyword - 'ejectment', or 'eviction'. An encroacher, especially if he was poor, might find himself punished by ‘summary ejectment’, for, as a judge once said, ‘mere possession is not a ‘title’ (although possession was always historically at the heart of title). Ejectment had its origin in the mediaeval power of feudal overlords or the crown to seize lands, perhaps as punishment for treason or uprising (as with the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Highland Clearances, the Flight of the Earls in Ireland in the 1590s, or in India after the Mutiny, or Great Revolt, of 1857). Under English common law ejectment was a variation upon a writ of trespass, allowing the ‘true owner’, his right of entry protected by the feudal law of seisin (literally being seized of the land), to proceed against the ‘intruder’.

Moving on from these keywords which I have been talking about, we find that land management, from a dominance during the 20th century by the state (Communist solutions, large-scale land confiscation, and nationalization of development rights through the planning system, for instance), now has a growing emphasis upon human rights and community-based approaches, the idea of a continuum of land rights and more pluralist solutions. The reaction to the de Soto prescription has included a revival of communal and community-based land management approaches, diverging from the so-called evolutionary view which sees all land as moving from communal towards individual tenure. I would like now to mention briefly three global land tools (another dreadful term, but nobody has come up with a better), which have been found useful in some places, although not in others.

First, land readjustment. While virtually unknown in the UK this method pools land ownerships for urban development, with financial mechanisms to recover infrastructure costs, and distributing the betterment, or added value created by planning permission, between the land-owners and the development agency. From its origins in Germany (the Lex Adickes in Frankfurt), it was adopted by the Japanese as KS (or kukaku seiri). In Israel as hadasha halukah it was introduced by the British in an adaptation of Ottoman communal land redistribution (the musha’a village), and used to develop the coastal towns of Netanya, Haifa and elsewhere. It is now applied in many countries, and suits various situations: mediaeval or pre-industrial ownership mosaics requiring replanning, town expansion into peri-urban areas of fragmented ownership, redevelopment after war or natural disaster, even multi-level or vertical replotting of urban areas to higher densities, and in areas of environmental protection the rearrangement of waterfront ownerships. One could even envisage it being used for reorganizing front gardens for better communal parking, tree planting and open space.

A second example is the condominium. This allows individual ownership of flats to be combined with shared arrangements through a body corporate to operate the common areas (stairs and landings, bin stores, car parking, swimming pools, even fitness stores). In continental Europe, North America and Australasia it is a well-established legal form, variously known as strata title or sectional title. It was introduced here by the Commonhold Act 2002 (our law-makers preferring an Anglo-Saxon wording halfway between freehold and leasehold rather than the Latin term condominium, with its continental European, ‘foreign’ associations). Unfortunately it is not taking off as hoped, because of the reluctance of developers and land owners to give up their ‘superior’ interest under the legal ‘doctrine of estates’, and of managing agents to give up their grip on the service charge levy.

A third example, from town planning, the garden city. The 20th century saw the spread of self-contained medium-density communities from the first garden city of Letchworth (1906), through the promotion of the Garden Cities and Town Planning Association, to become a preferred middle-class life-style choice world-wide (Japan, China, Scandinavia, for example). Gated residential communities are attractive to those wishing to separate themselves from the masses: it is hardly accidental that South Africa created an early garden city, at Pinelands (in Cape Town) as the first whites-only suburb after the First World War, a symbol of apartheid, surrounded by a buffer zone, with only two roads in and out. With low-density, car-dependent suburbia now being seen as environmentally unsustainable, we are searching for a higher-density, mixed-use alternative (the ‘new urbanism’), and becoming perplexed at the graceless suburban environments which today’s volume house-builders create for us to consume.

Where does all this get us? Disputes over land and natural resources can destabilise whole nation states, and failed states cannot guarantee tenure security against the mafia types with guns who want to capture your property and its potential income flows. If you really feel pessimistic, land disputes could yet lead to the end of the world: look at the Middle East and the nuclear spectre hanging over it.

The Global Land Tools Network is an experiment in improving land management practice, promoting more collaborative land development, involving community-based organizations, and facilitating living at higher densities with less car dependency. Among the leaders are Geoffrey Payne, Patrick McAuslan and Clarissa Augustinus. My own modest contribution is to try and sketch out a pro-poor history of land law that could help in modifying current practice and advancing the Millennium Development Goals. A Woody Guthrie song has the lines: ’I’m just a lonesome traveller, the great historical bum, highly educated from history I have come’. That strikes something of a chord for me. New international academic networks are emerging: the Housing Law group in the European Network of Housing Researchers, the Built Environment Law Network (BEL-NET), the International Research Group on Law and Urban Space (IRGLUS), and there are others. Vice-Chancellor Thorne’s previous University and mine (East London) is setting up a Centre for Innovation in Land Tenure, specializing in Islamic law, and my Faculty is considering a Research Centre for Justice and Communities.

The area is perhaps well suited to the so-called ‘modern’ university sector in this country, applied and practical rather than pure or ‘blue sky’ research – not the emphasis of the Research Assessment Exercise, but there is life outside that particular rigged funding game.

Land law, however, moves very slowly (witness the hundred year, and still incomplete, journey of land registration in this country), and the politics of reform can be difficult. ‘Land differs from one foot of ground to the next’ (according to an Arabic saying). Yet there are some universals: the balance between individual freedom and community responsibility, the tension between the owner and the occupier, tension between legal rules and local practice on the ground, the mechanics of control over land use and development. I believe we are seeing a significant shift in attitudes toward land, with the rise of human rights law and the pro-poor Millennium Development Goals. What one might call the arrogance of the nation-state is being curbed (there is less summary ejectment of the poor), and land titling programmes will make it more difficult to achieve major planned redevelopment because of the procedural and compensation complexities, creating a need for alternative approaches. Communal land rights are going through a revival (look at the example of the Scottish Land Reform Act). Perhaps, if we do land management better, it is the 21st century, not the 20th century, that will be the century of the common man.

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9. Back to Basics

Survey Review has published a number of articles in recent years, explaining the principles underlying survey techniques and electronic equipment to help clients and students. This material is now available in CD-ROM format, allowing easy printing of the articles, their loading to an Intranet, and their use with students, The CD also contains a range of other information, including the cumulative index of Survey Review (since 1931). The CD_ROM is available at a special price of £95 to educational institutions, in countries that are members of CASLE.

Cheques should be made payable to ‘Survey Review’ and sent to the CASLE Office, details as follows:

Contact:Susan Spedding (Mrs), Administrative Secretary
Survey Review/CASLE
c/o Faculty of the Built Environment
University of the West of England
Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
Tel/Fax: 0117 328 3036

Payment must accompany all orders

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10. Invitation to Compete for the CASLE Lecture Prize

Competition open to undergraduates, graduates, post graduates and young professionals

The Title of submitted papers is to be related to Sustainable Development

The winning paper to be presented at a forthcoming CASLE conference or at a CPD meeting organised by a member association or other CPD seminar by arrangement.

This competition is open to those involved in surveying, land economy, planning, architecture, construction and related aspects. Entrants must be under 32 years of age at the time of submission.

The value of the prize is equivalent to £250. It is sponsored by The Aubrey Barker Fund which was set up in 1972 in memory of the first CASLE president-elect who played a leading role in the establishment of the Association.

Any paper submitted must be an original work that has not been previously published. It must be in English, using 12 pt typeface with clear margins of 25 mm (top and sides) and 30mm (bottom) of each page. The length is to be not more than 4,000 words or more than 10 A4 pages inclusive of illustrations and diagrams. Papers may be submitted either in electronic format or as hard copy.

Personal data about the author should also be provided, and certified by a head of a college or university department or by an employer, at the time of submission. Selection of the successful paper will be made by a small committee appointed by CASLE.


at the CASLE office addressed to:

Mrs S Spedding, Faculty of the Built Environment,
University of the West of England,
Coldharbour Lane,
Bristol BS16 1QY

or sent by e-mail to

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11. Programme 2007

October 28 to November 2 Christchurch, New Zealand CASLE 11th. General Assembly and Management Board / ASEAN Flag / NZIS 5th Trans Tasman Conference (see article in section 3.5 for more details)
November 16 to 17 Mukona, Uganda Seminar on Housing & Livelihoods, preceding the Commonwealth People's Forum during CHOGM (see article in section 3.1.3 for more details)


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